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The Whispering Tree of Bengaluru

Author Name: Sridhar Pai Tonse | Format: Paperback | Genre : Literature & Fiction | Other Details

On a summer afternoon in 2015, I was driving alone by car along the west coast from Mangalore to Goa. As I revelled at the scenery, I suddenly felt something odd. The next minute, the landscape changed tremendously. A massive wave of emotion took over forcing me to stop. The street was silent. The tree in front of me was ablaze with something I had never seen before. It beckoned. Every leaf, branch, and the trunk lit up with an unimaginable radiance. I was stunned. It was a transformative moment for me.

Trees speak. And this Neem tree, growing up along the Margosa Road in the mid-1950s in Malleshwaram, has a story of her own. She develops a special affection for Balu, a child next door. A wonderful relationship develops between them. Till one day, young Balu leaves the city. She misses the little boy.

Decades later, she narrates her life, their daily battles for survival, an incredible ‘social web’ that keeps the planet alive. And life in old Bengaluru.

What happened to Balu? And to the tree? Did they meet again? What was her life like? What message does she share for humanity? Hear from the whispering tree.


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Sridhar Pai Tonse

Sridhar Pai Tonse is a Bengaluru boy who grew up in Malleshwaram. He worked as a telecom engineer before leaving for the US for higher studies. Later he became an entrepreneur and founded / co-founded three companies. He has authored several popular industry reports and, is a regular speaker at industry events.

Sridhar currently works on improving learnability amongst rural children using an indigenous ‘learning solution’ that his company has developed. From early childhood, Sridhar was fascinated by ‘space and beyond’. The quest to discover the unknown also drew him into meditation, yoga, and spiritual sciences. He is a regular meditator and is fascinated by the rich, and vibrant culture of India. 

He is intrigued by how tech alters society and human behaviour. He says he is a permanent student of ‘futurism’. Sridhar writes about self-improvement, tips for entrepreneurs, and startups. He is also a mentor to early-stage founders. He can be reached at and writes at: